Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.
After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.
Then she sees her new boss.
Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.
Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.
This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.
We both know we aren’t just talking about a moved stapler or a mishmash of files. As that really sets in, the air around us gets heavier. Hotter. Hazardous.“Those things always lead to dangerous situations,” he says, his eyes trained on me.
I shift in my seat, the throb between my legs growing stronger by the second. “People do it every day and survive.”
“They may survive, but don’t things get messy?”
“Only if they do it right.”
His chair flies backwards and he’s to his feet and next to me before I know what’s happening. He doesn’t ask that I stand, but he doesn’t have to. It’s implied and my body reacts accordingly to his silent command.
We stand face-to-face, our breathing ragged. Our chests heave with the anticipation, the possibility, of what might come next.
“You are, quite possibly, the most dangerous of them all,” he says, his voice rough.
“Why is that?” I breathe.
“There’s no plan for you.”
“But you’ve already penciled me in, haven’t you, Graham?” I ask, finding the courage to play this little game with him. Being strictly professional is incredibly hard, and this is way too easy.
I can flirt with the best of them in a bar or on a college campus. But here, with him, it’s a game all its own. A level I had no idea I’d ever be a contender in. Maybe I’m not, but I’m going to play the hell out of it while I’m here … even though if I keep it up, I might not be here for long.
“What do you want, Mallory?”
“I want to do all the things you ask of me and do them better than you ever expected they could be done.”
A rumble emits from his throat as his eyes darken. My knees go weak and I grab the table with my left hand to ensure I don’t fall.
He licks his lips and flips his gaze to my mouth. I think I whimper as I lift my chin, waiting to see what he does next. My entire body is on fire for this man, my heart thumping so hard I’m sure he can hear it.
He moves so my back is pressed against the table, our food long forgotten. His hands are on either side of me, caging me in. Our eyes locked together, he leans in, a slow smirk spreading across his gorgeous face.
“Excuse me, Mr. Landry. Ford is here to see you,” Raza chirps through the line.
We exhale simultaneously, a giggle escaping with mine. There’s nothing funny about this, but the energy has to come out in some way.
“Mr. Landry?” she asks again.
“I’ll be right out. Thank you, Raza.”
“Oh, you’re so welcome, sir.” The line clicks off and Graham marches across the room and punches a button. The light on top indicates he’s not to be disturbed.
I busy myself with cleaning up our lunch, and before he’s at my side again, I have everything bundled up.
“Thanks for lunch,” I say like nothing just happened.
“Mallory …” He runs his hand through his hair, leaving one lock sticking up. Knowing what that will look like if we walk out together, I reach up, hesitating for a split second, before smoothing it out.
His hair is silky against my fingers. He jumps when I touch him at first, but doesn’t back away. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing went on in here. I refuse for it to look like something did. That’s the way rumors get spread, Mr. Landry.”
“Mallory, I …”
I get a final look at his face, reach up and straighten his tie as his eyes go wide, then turn towards the door. “I’ll send Ford in.”
“Yeah?” I turn to see him over my shoulder. He’s standing by the table, his hands in his pockets looking frazzled. When he doesn’t respond, I place my hand on the knob. “I’ll have that file back to you before I leave today. Thanks again for lunch.”
There is just something about these Landry boys and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into Graham Landry. He didn’t disappoint at all. Over the last two books of the series, we have noticed that Graham seems to be the natural born leader of the family. The most dependable of the lot and also the most conservative. He doesn’t seem to have any personal relationships outside of his family and work seems to be his life.
In walks our girl, Mallory and Graham is quickly falling all over himself. Mallory wants to stand on her own two feet after a past relationship that left her a bit unsure of herself and questioning all of her life decisions. She takes a job as Graham’s assistant and after their first meeting, you knew these two were going to be pulled together. Graham is a routine driven guy and Mallory throws a major kink in his cogs. It is hilarious to see it play out between them. Watching a man that is usually so in control, fall all over himself is a nice change. Graham can’t stay away from Mallory and Mallory is afraid of being burned again. She needs to control her own life but with Graham around she seems to be losing control again.
The truly best part of this story is how much these two seem to understand each other. Mallory quickly realizes that Graham needs to do more things for himself and really spend some time just being relaxed and carefree. Graham realizes that Mallory needs to be independent and doesn’t crowd her. He gives her space but also supports her ambitions and dreams. Graham is everything that Mallory didn’t have in the past. Mallory is everything that Graham wants in a partner not only in business but in life.
Adriana Locke nailed this story and she makes me fall deeper in love with the Landry Family. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Ford and his sisters. This is a series I don’t want to end.